All Those Little Fabric Charms Can Add Up To Something Special

The October 2013 PSQ Charm Swap is winding down. Oh, all you wonderful quilters out there, cutting charms and sending them all around the world! I am pleased to say that nearly all the loose ends, at least the ones I know about, are clearing up. There have been a few bumps, small to me but not to the people that they happened too. A swapper not answering, newbies disappearing, people signing up for the wrong size swap, and such. My brain got confused by the fact that we have four swappers with the same name. It takes a while but it usually all works out.

Lovely Color Sorted CharmsLife will soon get back to normal at my home. Yes, it does take a chunk of my time no matter how organized I try to keep it. After six swaps, I have a few ideas of how to make the seventh swap work even better.

I get many notes from people thanking me, and I really do appreciate hearing that. But I do this because I love it. I have an addiction to these little charms, and the lovely quilts they create. Surely I need to hook others on this addiction!

But, without naming names, I want to share some tidbits that make managing this swap actually amazing. Aside from the fact that I like the idea of sharing across borders and boundaries, it is really all the people that make it an interesting experience.

water-color-quilted-heart from qualityquilter blog 2008I have had at least two emails a day telling me how the swap, or a swap partner, has “made their day.” These swappers nearly always go on to share a story. Some are dealing with job loss, others loss of a parent. We have swappers who are raw from recent divorces, or coming out of shelters and starting life over. People are going through chemo, and coming home to lovely little parcels that bring cheer and hope. One swapper is hand-stitching charms together sitting by a child’s hospital bed. After an earlier swap, one of our swappers passed away before completing a quilt for his god-daughter. No one in his family sewed, but they gathered together and finished that special quilt.

I started these swaps because I love PSQ quilts, and I was looking for ways to help others build a stash of charms and make their own unique treasures. Soon I saw that people were making friends and gaining the modern-day equivalent of pen-pals. I am humbled that some of you are actually finding this to be a welcome diversion or a little step forward as you start a new stage of life.

Yes, there will be two swaps again next year. The basics will be similar, and there will be a limit of 8 sets swapped per swapper per size (unless you all get busy and help me find a lot more people to join the swap!)

Mary, The Curious QuilterI hope you are gathering new scraps and will be cutting sets to share. If you have read any of my CQ “Cotton We Love” Chronicles, you know that I encourage people to think about the hands that made the fabric, the hands that will sew it into something unique. While you are cutting, please take a moment to realize that these little charms may take on a special meaning in their new homes. That makes for an amazing swap!
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comSignature © 2013 by The Curious Quilter,, All rights reserved.


About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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7 Responses to All Those Little Fabric Charms Can Add Up To Something Special

  1. Lea Springer says:

    Hi. Thanks again for letting me be a recipient of those lovely little charms as a newbie. I hope you read my comment about receiving some from Sweden. Could you please let me know where I can get instructions for creating the heart-shaped quilt illustrated in your latest email. That is the one I would love to attempt first. Thanks you so much. Lea Springer

    • I loved your comment about your Newbie Donor! So sweet.

      That picture is a Watercolor Heart Quilt done by a fellow quilter some time ago, using lovely little charms! I have seen kits in many shops, as well as patterns. Sorry, I do not know of a particular “pattern”. Ask in your local quilt shop.

      Watercolor quilts are all about the busy fabrics, and getting the color-wash effect right. You can use graph paper to plan your basic pattern, then you have to collect and sort fabrics to get the effect you want.

      If you are new to quilting, I suggest a more traditional PSQ first!

  2. Thank you for committing to another year!!! I’m already excited!

  3. jfruehwirth says:

    Oh, the world is so blessed to have a special person like you in it. I, too am hand stitching my charms. I recently had to quit my job due to declining health and was told to spend quality time with my family. I won’t get better, but the goal is not to get worse. Hand stitching the charms let’s me remember my grandmother teaching me how to piece at five and letting me help tie a quilt at six. Hand piecing is bring peace to me in ways that nothing else can. A good friend intro duce me to you and that has brought joy to my heart. I am already going through my stash for the next swap. Thank you and all the swappers from the bottom of my heart. See you can n March!

  4. treadlemusic says:

    Sometimes, the impact of our “passions” are deeper than ever could be imagined!!! Such a sweet post and one that encourages me and many others, I’m sure! Huge hugs and blessings to you!!!!!!

  5. Patricia says:

    Thank you much for hosting these swaps. I’ve received all the charms from my swap partners & confirmed theirs too. I’m looking forward to the next swap. Love the information you share on PSQ and find myself addicted! Have a wonderful holiday season.

  6. Good morning Mary

    Just checking in that there will be a swap in March. I just want to start cutting charms, as I have to go away in February for 10 days, then again towards the end of March.

    Are we limited to 8 swap partners?

    Happy Australia Day

    Happy stitching Sharon

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